Rare First Edition of this cornerstone of colonial history: William Smith's The History of the Province of New-York from the First Discovery to the Year MDCCXXXII
The History of the Province of New-York from the First Discovery to the Year MDCCXXXII.
Item Number: 102864
London: Thomas Wilcox, 1757.
First edition of the “first and classic history of New York” (Streeter), illustrated with the folding plate view of Fort Oswego on Lake Oswego. Quarto, bound in three-quarters calf over brown cloth-covered boards, gilt titles to the spine, morocco spine label. In very good condition with some small repairs to the verso of the map, signature to the title page, late 18th century manuscript poem from the New York Daily Gazetteer of November 16, 1790 on p. (vi). Housed in a custom clamshell box. Howes S 703; Sabin 84566; Church 1023; ESTC T36514.
William Smith, a Loyalist who graduated from Yale in 1745, became the justice of the province of New York but left the country after the Revolution for Lower Canada where he became chief justice. Smith's work was based "chiefly on the Provincial Laws, the Minutes of the Council, the Journals of the General Assembly and other government records. He also acknowledges his indebtedness to Colden's History of the Five Indian nations, and to Charlevoix. "Within the period subsequent to the English Revolution, Smith is still without a successful rival. This work ranks with Smith's Virginia and Hutchinson's Massachusetts, as one of the worthiest examples of historical literature produced in later colonial times" (Larned).